Conversations at Davos 2022
The World Economic Forum at Davos brought together a fascinating array of people. Join Cloudflare’s João Tomé as he speaks with attendees about tech trends, how Davos has changed, and more.
This episode features:
- Yinon Costica - Co-founder and VP of Products, Wiz
- Lauren Burge - Senior Managing Director, FTI Consulting
- Roxana Fariborz - Managing Director, Private Capital Advisory Services, FTI Consulting
- Morten Bech - Centre Head at BIS Innovation HUB
- Arsjad Rasjid - Chairman, Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
What's your name? Inon Kostika And where do you come from? I'm from Tel Aviv And what are you thinking of Davos so far?
First time, right? Yeah, it's the first time in Davos.
It's an amazing experience seeing all of these great people face to face again after COVID.
Nice scenery, nice setup. And yeah, just amazing experience so far.
And what about your company? You're here as a tech pioneer, right? Yeah, I'm a global innovator for Wiz.io.
It's a cloud security company that does agentless scanning of any cloud environment and provides a risk assessment within minutes.
We're the fastest growing cloud company today in the market. We serve more than 30% of the Fortune 500.
But we're young, we're just two years old. So we are running super fast.
And the company in terms of history, how has been the growth in terms of people, in terms of escalation of clients?
Yeah, so we've been just two years in and we are already topping 400 employees, more than 30% of the Fortune 500 and hundreds of other customers, small, big, anybody, everybody needs to secure their cloud today.
And so it has been an amazing journey in terms of the growth.
In terms of the lessons learned the past five years, in terms of technology, of yourself seeing the Internet growing through the pandemic, how do you see this growth in the past five years in the Internet in general, in tech in general, and also in terms of your personal growth?
Yeah, so I think there are a few really important trends that are happening.
One, the industry as a whole is really maturing.
So the security space is maturing. We can see a lot more attention to the implementation, the business value from security, a lot more maturity in the way customers use security.
And on the flip side, we're seeing a lot more awareness.
So the importance of doing things securely, the importance of rolling out this functionality.
So these are two very important trends. The third trend that I would refer to is also that security is not one team's task.
Actually, security is something that is growing across the organization and needs a whole community to be successful in.
So we're seeing cloud builders like the developers, DevOps, cloud security teams, also cloud defenders that are monitoring the cloud, and they all work together.
And any tooling that there is out there should actually be serving these three very different audiences today, but together they can really make a significant difference.
In terms of the technologies you have seen that surprised you the most in the past few years, even in terms of cloud, were you surprised by something that happened?
The biggest surprise is, of course, well, I'm in cloud for more than a decade now.
Our first startup we started was Cosby in 2013.
We sold it to Microsoft. I was running the cloud security group at Microsoft for a few years before we founded Wiz.
And we knew what cloud is capable of and the benefits of cloud, but I think that the biggest surprise was actually the huge adoption that we've seen over the past few years.
It's like we crossed the tipping point and now everything goes to cloud, any company.
There is no question of, should we use cloud?
Everybody's using cloud, migrating their applications to the cloud.
So basically, it's not about the technology, it's more about the adoption of the technology and the pace.
In terms of your experience, you've worked at Microsoft, a big company.
How has it been also trying to adapt the realities of a big company to a small company that is starting?
Yes, good question.
I'm a startup guy. As a startup, Microsoft acquired us in 2015. We did a few years at Microsoft and I have to say that we felt like we need to restart something.
So for me, it was great going back to, but it's not easy because I was managing a team of more than 500 people back at Microsoft and then you find yourself a day after you leave and basically you have the founding team, four people in one room and now, okay, let's do everything by yourself from scratch.
It's a challenge, but it's an exciting one and you feel like you're building it.
So for me, it was an amazing experience.
Now we are back at 400 employees, so it's back again, but it's a nice experience building it with your culture, when you basically can influence it and see the impact.
You have been in the event just for a day, but what do you think so far in terms of networking and people you meet?
The mixture between the private sector, the public sector, academics is really interesting here.
It's very heterogeneous as a conference, which is also nice. In security conferences, you get to see only one type of people and here you actually can see others.
You can see from the entire spectrum, which is nice. In terms of your company right now, you already said that you have a lot of clients from the Fortune 500, so it's working good in terms of growth.
What is your company the best in terms of what is out there?
I think that at Wiz we really implemented a lot of the learnings we had over at Microsoft on how to build enterprise-ready products.
It's not only about the enterprise, it's about how to build it for scale, how to build the product to be consumed easily.
The third thing that is maybe the most important is the time to value.
I think that we underestimate the importance of time to value in the market.
When you connect with Wiz, it takes you five minutes to connect and immediately you can see results across any scale of a cloud environment.
The impact that it does on customers is truly amazing. They cannot believe that in five minutes they can get this level of visibility and assessment.
That was a dream for them for a long time and now it happened.
I think that as an industry, the time to value is maybe the biggest difference that we have.
You think about the market today, you have so many challenges in deploying solutions, in agents, sidecars, all sorts of very heavy lifting with friction full experiences.
This is very different when you just connect Wiz using an API connector and you're done.
It's confusing in a sense. There are so many solutions. Those who aren't experts find it difficult to understand what to choose.
Yeah, a lot of skepticism in the market as well.
I think that one other thing is when customers realize that there is something that is good, they go much faster about it.
But without this prior knowledge, they are very skeptical of the market because security is a confusing space for years.
A lot of people aren't that expert in the cloud.
Yes, let alone in cloud. You are right. Cloud is even more so. I think I have one quote from a customer after they connected Wiz.
Just on that point, they said that the cloud became from the least understood space in their security team to the most understood space.
Now they can really do security in the cloud better than what they did.
I think that this is exactly the point you mentioned. Cloud is new to most teams, but when you give them proper tooling that are easy to consume, it makes it easier to run with.
Do you think the pandemic brought the cloud to become a necessity?
Yes, definitely. I think that the ability of cloud is democratizing technology overall.
You don't need to go through centralized processes.
You don't need to wait for hardware or physical stuff. You just use it.
I think the ability to democratize technology is the biggest benefit of cloud.
The second benefit is that it's not only you democratize technology, you democratize the best technology because this gives you the latest and greatest that the technology world has to give.
I think cloud became a necessity. Once people realize the power of cloud, you cannot go back because you realize your business can move so much faster.
When I think about my customers, my main question is how can I help them accelerate cloud adoption because it's going to benefit the business so much.
Not only the security team. We should remove the security blocker from there.
This is what makes it exciting for customers. In terms of bringing those customers to the cloud, how do you use your expertise to convince them that the cloud really makes a difference?
Can you repeat the question? In terms of customers that are not that convinced that we should go to the cloud, what type of things do you use to show them data?
Here's what you would save. You were talking about the cloud itself.
I think all customers realize by now that they need to enable their users and their developers to use it.
I think that maybe this is the biggest change since, let's say, three years ago, four years ago.
It's not about should we use cloud. It's about how we use cloud because the business needs it.
Unlike last decade, today I barely find myself explaining why cloud because customers get it.
The question is how to do it right.
How far? Exactly. What extent, what to enable, what not to enable.
I want to tell customers in general that when they have our solution deployed or in general, when they think about cloud, they should think about how to enable everything in the cloud.
They should just use the cloud in a way that makes them feel more secure because the cloud is amazing.
If you start slicing and dicing, you're losing a lot of its power.
Makes sense. In terms of the future and the next steps, where do you see technology and the Internet going in terms of cloud and also the global Internet?
In general, I think that the cloud will be the de facto way to deliver experiences, new experiences overall, new business value.
Basically, any digital transformation, any digital investment, most of them will be in the cloud and that's going to be the de facto standard.
I think that the one thing we will see is a lot more awareness to the, we call it, the word economic forum actually uses the term digital trust.
I think this is something that we will see a lot more because I think that now we realize that with cloud and with digital transformation as a whole comes great responsibility in terms of security, privacy, compliance, and so on.
Even geo considerations like geo regulations and so on.
I think that as a community, we will be required to take a lot more time to think through our digital trust processes and how do we create that trust with customers.
Because as much as we build new stuff to the cloud, threat actors are also after it and we will need to make our customers know, like your customers, every customer that uses, consumes the cloud in the end, they will need to know that the cloud is secure.
I think this is one of the big challenges ahead that we simply have to solve.
How do we create digital trust as a whole? The second thing is that really, I think that what we are seeing today, I call it the security as a business.
I think security becomes a business enabler. In the past, security was a lot like a no-sayer.
Today, we see a lot more security teams seeing themselves as a business function that can enable and actually accelerate processes within the org by democratizing access to more technology.
I think that that's the second thing.
The ability of IT and security developers and security to work much closer together to build this digital trust is the other trend that I'm seeing.
In a sense, it's the cloud going further and getting more mature.
But in terms of new technologies that you're seeing that are appearing, do you see any that you put your bets more on?
Actually, I think that cloud enables so much. If I look at one technology versus the other, it's in the end, I think every technology has this hype curve.
When we talked last decade about ML, AI, and now people realize it's not so good and they want to use more predictive capabilities.
And now you have blockchain and NFTs, so you've got multiple technologies that are all enabled thanks to cloud.
I think that we will see more new stuff that we can use. It all adds up to the tool set that we have.
The cloud is the basis and what is growing like blockchain and all that is on top of that.
I think the bigger story is that cloud allows us to experiment technologies much faster and to build them in a much more connected way so we can use them in a way that is accelerating adoption.
And then we can learn faster.
So I think in general, that's a bigger story in cloud. How can we accelerate use of technology and learning new, developing new technologies and make our digital experiences much more advanced, robust, fun, and so on.
Hi. What's your name? I'm Lauren Birch from FDI Consulting. And you? And I'm Roxanna Fariborz from FDI Consulting.
Also. Where do you come from? So I'm based out of New York City.
And I'm based out of Brussels, Belgium. Okay, two cities. And what's your experience in Davos so far?
How has it been? It's been fantastic. We've met all kinds of amazing people from all over the world, actually.
It's been very warm as well, which I think is new this year.
But it's great. I mean, everybody's out about, you know, talking, connecting, and that's what Davos is about, right?
So that's fantastic. It's your first time here? Yes. And a lot of networking then?
Yes. Most interesting people you've met so far? We just went to, what's it called?
Magic Leap. Magic Leap. Fascinating company. Augmented reality. Really looking at enterprise applications.
Amazing. Really fascinating. And in terms of what this event brings for your company, for your work, how does it work?
Well, several of our clients are here, so it's great to be able to connect with them.
Because otherwise, with busy schedules and everything, especially for the more senior people, this makes it much easier to meet them.
And I think it's really about learning about the new emerging tech players out there, but also, yeah, the different platforms and things like that, which, you know, I think with a lot of our clients, they've got a lot of partnerships with and things like that.
So it's good for us to connect dots and try and help that happen.
And in terms of Internet, the last few years of the Internet, where do you see the Internet also going with the pandemic, more people online?
Oh, everyone's online, but isn't it all about Web3 now?
So, no, but I think, I mean, whether you're talking about remote working or, you know, how to keep employees engaged online more, or how do you connect, you know, one platform to another?
I mean, it's just the potential is endless.
So I think it's a struggle more to keep up than anything. In the last few years, there has been a pandemic.
There's been a war already, also a big war.
How do you see in terms of the Internet, the role of the Internet throughout this past few years?
So I think the Internet and digital communications channels, if I can call it like that, has allowed leaders to take a more active role in discussions that are really important to all of us.
I think it's allowed companies to be in contact with their employees, with people, but also the broader stakeholder groups that's more active.
And yeah, I think it's, you know, nowadays, digital is a great thing.
It also means there's a lot more risk because it's transferable far more quickly.
But, you know, we're at a point in time now with, you know, the pandemic, with the war, with the political situation where people need leadership, right, whether that comes from companies or from governments or from individuals, consumers, whatever.
Everybody has a voice.
And I think that digital has allowed that to flourish. And in terms of challenges for the future?
Challenges for the future?
Regarding tech and Internet in general. I mean, I think there is a massive education gap across various different stakeholder groups.
So whether it's your every, you know, everyday Joe on the street understanding what the potential of Bitcoin or crypto is, to how that's then translated into policy developments, government discussions, you know, into education systems, all sorts of different things.
And so I think the biggest thing is that gap in terms of how quickly things are evolving and people then being able to catch up.
And then how does regulation catch up with that? And how does, yeah, just adoption generally.
Last question. In terms of Davos is also a place where people think about what has happened and about the future in a more macro light.
What do you think this time period will look like in the broader sense of the next few decades?
I mean, it's a very big question, but I think ultimately it's about collaboration.
And I don't know why that word popped into my head, but I think, you know, one, it's inspired by Davos and being connected.
But two, I think we're not in a world and we definitely won't be in a world in the next 10 years or even sooner where people need to operate or can operate individually or independently.
I think every single company, I mean, we just had a great event on crypto and things.
And, you know, everything is about interoperability, you know, making different systems and platforms compatible with one another.
And I think that needs to happen in every single conversation, every single level.
So I think collaboration, working together and finding solutions to problems is the way forward.
What do you do in your company?
I head up the Swiss center of the BIS Innovation Hub. First time in Davos?
First time in Davos. And what do you think about Davos so far? So far, very nice.
It's super interesting. Met a lot of interesting people. It's good.
No snow, right? No snow, absolutely. Well, I was here in February, so I saw plenty of snow there.
And in terms of your expectations for the event, what do you think you can take out of the event?
Well, I'm just here to learn and meet people and, you know, so far so good.
So I hope that continues today and the rest of the week.
Do you see any interesting trends here so far regarding the technology and innovation?
Well, so I still think a lot is happening in blockchain. People are probably a little less gung-ho given the recent developments, but overall I still think it has great potential.
And in terms of your company, what do you expect to take from here, even in terms of trends?
Well, the importance of open source, I think that's important.
We are doing a lot of work in developing central bank digital currency and I think we want to explore open source even further.
In terms of the future of technology, do you have any hopes of where it could lead?
I have no idea, but it's interesting.
That's all I can say. So, I'm actually here representing the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
I'm the chair of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. My name is Arshad Rashid and here we are at the Ula Kermit Forum in conjunction to introduce about the Binsis20.
Indonesia is currently the president of the G20 and we are hosting both the G20 and also the Binsis20.
It will happen in November in Bali.
And what about Davos? Is it your first time? What do you think about the event so far?
No, this is not my first. I've been coming here since I think 2012. Every year, of course, for the past two years, I'm missing this.
And so, I'm delighted that we can actually be able to meet again in person.
And this is a different Davos.
The feeling is warm. Usually, what we call is a white Davos. This is like a green Davos.
But at least there is a green thing. So, it's a green transition discussion that we need to have.
So, in terms of trends so far this year, what have you seen?
Davos was out for a while because of the pandemic. What trends did you saw so far that you think could be interesting?
I think the three topics that we also from Indonesia on the G20 and B20.
Number one is about the global healthcare architectures.
Because we need to still, you know, the pandemic is not over yet.
And we have to be prepared for other pandemic situations in the future.
So, we have to work together to actually provide the architectures and democratizations of the healthcare.
That's number one. Number two is energy transition.
Talking about sustainability. How do we make sure that with all the challenges we have today, with all high energy costs, we can still maintain, making sure that we still go through the energy transition.
That's number two. And number three is digital transformation.
And that's very important on digital transformation.
Because we believe that digital transformation or digitalization of economy will actually push small, medium enterprises, even micro enterprises, to be able to be part of the world.
They can be part of the global chain of work.
And that's very important. So, those are the three current issues that we actually are pushing for the G20 and B20.
And also here, discussing that we're going to follow.
Do you think the event is good to get the conversation going, to create something?
Everything starts with the communication. Communication is conversation.
So, I do believe, anywhere, if we can do a conversation, as an example, what's happening with the challenges of Russia and Ukraine today.
That's why we are saying and voicing out to the business people, business leaders, to talk to their leaders, to actually come to Bali, to make sure, let's put aside our differences.
You know, in Indonesia, there is a motto called Binika Tunggal Ika, unity in diversity.
Where you can have different perspectives, different differences, but we want to make sure that we are united.
We are not talking just about politics.
It's more important to know about people, about the situation, and want to make sure the prosperity of the people.
And that's actually a line we're following.
In terms of the Internet throughout these last years, and also the cloud, Indonesia is a pretty much connected country.
What do you think the role and the evolution of the Internet and technology in the last years?
It's a very key factor.
In our opinion, that's why I said, digitalization can create equitable equity for all people.
And this is the time for developing countries to leapfrog using digitalization.
That's why Indonesia invests so much in infrastructures of digitalization.
Although during the pandemic, we invest only in healthcare and the development of digital infrastructures.
Because if we can give access of digitalization to all of our people, that will be the key to what we call prosperity.
In terms of technology, what is the main element that is making a difference now in Indonesia?
I think the key is infrastructures.
If we have great infrastructures, then you can have access of technology anywhere.
And digitalization to all will create transparency. That's very key also in part of the governance.
And so, we do believe that digitalization will transform a country, will transform and will give prosperity.
In terms of the future, what do you think could be the role that the Internet could play for your country?
Oh, greatly. Because we wish that we have a batik, for example. Just imagine a person making batik in one small city in Indonesia.
Now, with digitalization, can open the market and sell not only in his city or her city, but in Java, the whole of Indonesia, ASEAN, globally.
So, that's giving access. And that's very important. And that's making the difference for the last couple of years.
Just continuing to expand that possibility that the Internet provides.
Yes. So, now is the question of how do we actually create more digitalization solution for the industries, for how it's more important how we actually people control digital, not digital control the people.